Friday, December 13, 2013

Dear Santa

My little boy was a little late writing his letter to Santa but I'm glad we have good connections in the North Pole.

Mr. O made a special delivery to Canada Post yesterday.

It hasn't been 24 hours, and the letter carrier brought Santa's letter to our house today.

What excellent service!

Even the mailman said, "This is a very important letter."

Wow! It must be.

This is what my son wrote:



(For privacy/security reasons, my son's name was omitted from the pictures.)

J.P came home from school, and asked, "Did Santa send me a letter?" 

"Yes, he did!"

He was overjoyed to get his missive so soon! Here's Santa's reply: 






Oh, Santa, you didn't disappoint. We love you!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Holiday Season

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.



Last week, we had our first snowfall. And I woke up to this winter wonderland. The trees were so pretty in white.


This wintry beauty, of course, inspired me to decorate our home with holiday decor. Much to the delight of my little boy!



And there must be angels nearby because I was so pleased to receive a letter from the boys' school stating they will be raising funds for the Philippines. It warms my heart to see the spirit of giving!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In the News

Kids are very perceptive.

They know something is going on even if they don't know the whole story.

One day, my youngest son came home from school and asked, "What's the news on Humpty Dumpty?"

Who is he referring to?

Canadian Senator, Mike Duffy or Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?

Both politicians are linked to scandal.

Great.

Overshadowing the devastation in the Philippines.

This question had my head spinning; and left me speechless.

I completely ignored his inquiry, and diverted his attention to homework.

In light of recent events, I've decided to turn off the television or change the channel whenever the local news is on.

Honestly, my boys don't need to watch the drama at Toronto's City Hall.

It has become too much of a spectacle, and a media frenzy.

Sad but true.

As a mother, I know I can't shield my children from all the terrible things out there. They have seen the images and heard the stories of Super Typhoon Haiyan. They know we have relatives who live in Cebu, near the island of Leyte. And our thoughts and prayers are with them.

All I can do is to filter out the news; the good, the bad and the ugly.

But more importantly, I can teach them and raise them to be good, responsible and honest citizens.

Now isn't that a story worth fighting for?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan

To all my readers in Canada and around the world. Please help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The Canadian government announced it will match donations to charitable organizations from November 8 to December 9, 2013. If you reside in Canada, click the link to find out more information.

Canadian Red Cross

Or you can visit these sites.

World Vision

UNICEF

Thank you for your support!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

My 10-year-old son wrote this simple poem (in French) to honour the men and women who served, fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Lest we forget.



Remembrance Day

This day is to remember the brave soldiers.
They died for our country. They suffered for our country.
This one minute of silence is special to honour the soldiers.
Thank you for your service, and our freedom.

I wear the poppy because I`m proud of the veterans.
Thank you for your service, and our freedom.
You went to war to protect our country.
Thank you for your service, and our freedom.

You're not the normal soldiers.
You are the heroes of our country.
Thank you for your service, and our freedom.
You won the war for us, and the war ended.
Thank you for your service, and our freedom.

Friday, October 4, 2013

50/50

My little boy is so sweet and thoughtful.

Not a day goes by when he doesn't say, "I love you" .

J.P shows his love and devotion with hugs and kisses.  And I know he doesn't want to hurt us. So much so, that he can't even pick sides.

"Who is funnier? Mommy or daddy?"

"Who do you look like more?"

"Who is a better cook?"

And with each question, his answer is always the same.

"50/50."

No matter what you say or do to make him choose, you could not sway him otherwise.

He is very neutral.

J.P remains steadfast, loyal and true to both of us.

And to me, that's more than 50/50.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

TIFF 2013

It's September and the kids have gone back to school.

And while I try to establish daily routines and bedtimes, my mind wanders off to TIFF.

If you haven't read or followed my blog, every year my brother and I attend red carpet events at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It's become a tradition.

This year, we were fortunate enough to see some great movie stars.


The night Matthew McConaughey walked the red carpet for his movie, "Dallas Buyers Club", I had to attend my son's ukulele recital. My brother was so lucky to get his photo and autograph!

However, I made it up the next day by seeing Jake Gyllenhaal. And he even signed my autograph book too! He was very cool and friendly to all his fans.



Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Sandra Bullock, and Julia Roberts were some of the big names that were in town. We also saw Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson. But the highlight for me this year was seeing the beautiful and elegant actress, Isabella Rossellini. She is the daughter of legendary actress, Ingrid Bergman and Italian film director, Roberto Rossellini. And she also stars with Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie, "Enemy".


It was a wonderful year for star gazing!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Days

Two weeks until the kids go back to school.

Really?

Sigh.

In the meantime, here's what we've been up to:



Taking fun pictures on day trips. These clouds were magnificent on our way to Balsam Lake.


This is how we spend our summer days...at the beach!


Admiring the Pink Garden Phlox in the garden. Isn't it pretty?


And visiting with family and seeing a little boy delighted with his birthday gift. Happy 6th birthday A.W!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Orange Stuff

Nothing beats mom's cooking.

If there was one thing you have to know about my mom, she loves to cook. I wish I had the same passion for cooking.

Over the years, I've tried many of her recipes. Often trying to relive my childhood, and duplicate mom's meals.

But there is one chicken dish that my boys absolutely love!

It's a simple meal with chicken, potatoes, onions, garlic, bay leaf, green peas or chick peas if you prefer. Just add tomato paste and water for the sauce, and salt and pepper for flavour. Let it cook for thirty minutes, and you have an easy and hearty meal.

After eating, they would always ask, "What do you call this?"

I don't know.

Even to this day, my own mother can't give me a name!

The other day, I made the favourite chicken dish.

It wasn't lunchtime, and A.R rushed downstairs.

"Mom, did you make the orange stuff?"

Huh?

Oh.

"Yes, I did."

I guess we have a name.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Catching Up

We've had such a crazy schedule these last few months, I haven't had time to blog.

Sorry.

In May, I was busy in the garden. I planted new perennials: Lavender, Autumn Joy Sedum and Lupines. I also had a plant exchange with a friend. And I added a bird feeder under the pear tree. Finches, cardinals, nuthatches and chickadees visit daily.



June was packed with parties every weekend. As promised, we gave J.P a 10th birthday party. It was a fun-filled day of food, games and goodies.



And in mid-July, we watched our teenage son play ukulele for the Natsu Matsuri Obon Festival at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. He is the youngest in the group, and we're so proud of him.



So far the summer has been relaxing. The boys are sleeping in and enjoying their vacation.

Will this suffice? Have I caught up? Not yet?

No worries.

More adventures to come!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life of a Teenager

Two months ago, A.R turned thirteen years old.

I still can't believe we have a teenager in our household.

Yikes!

And for these past few months, we have dealt with minor mood swings, acne and "I want to be alone" moments.

It's difficult for his little brother, who often feels neglected and rejected by his older sibling.

"Mommy, A.R doesn't want to play with me anymore."

"He's a teenager now - he wants his space."

"Why?"

"You'll understand when you're thirteen."

However, it's not the computer games, phone calls, clothes or girls that I'm worried about.

It's the time spent in the bathroom!

Seriously, you'd think I had a daughter!

Do all thirteen year olds take their Ipods or Nintendo DS in the bathroom?

Sitting on the throne for forty-five minutes?

Is this the new teen rebellion?

Hmm, I wonder.

Sigh.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Fools' Day

April is here.

And you know what the first day can bring.

Our youngest son was quick to act, pulling a few jokes on us in the morning.

We had some good laughs.

So when I asked J.P if he was going to the Yu-Gi-Oh card tournament later, he was excited and said, "Yes!"

"April Fools'!"

Mr. O roared with laughter.

J.P didn't take it so well, and broke down.

What a meltdown!

I guess some kids can't take a joke!

Oops.

Another lesson learned.

I hope he had fun at the tournament!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Incredulous

"What did you say? Did I miss something?"

Mr. O wants to know what all the fuss is about.

The boys burst out in laughter.

"What's so funny?"

J.P turns to his older brother and teases him about his school crush.

"Dude, you're so awkward around her."

"What? I am not!"

"You say funny things to her."

"No, I don't!"

More giggling, and playful nudging.

"I never said I liked her!"

"Uh-huh."

Mr.O and I glance at each other.

It's a conversation we don't hear every day.

Incredulous, I tell you.

And quite hilarious too.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's Valentine's Day.

And not everything is about roses, romance and chocolates.

Today, it's more than that.

It's from the heart.

So when my brother messaged me to say he'd pick me up, and take me to watch my boys sing at the local mall.

I was delighted to hear such wonderful news!

Both of my boys are in the school choir. And they would perform in the annual event, Choir Festivals Canada. Along with other school choirs in the region.

We arrived early, happy to see shoppers, parents and teachers gathered around the stage.

Music and song filled the shopping centre.

I must say we were their biggest fans; taking pictures and video.



I am so grateful that my brother took the time out to watch his nephews perform.

Even A.R and J.P were surprised and happy to see him there.

But more importantly, it was my brother's thoughtfulness that made this Valentine's
Day so special.


Just by being with the ones you love.

What a beautiful Valentine's gift!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Hubby Is No Techie

Mr. O came home and stated, "My phone is old. I don't even have a flash on my camera."

Really?

He was quite emphatic that he needed a new phone.

I told him Blackberry launched two new smartphones today- Z10 touch-screen and Q10 physical keyboard.

Mr. O was impressed.

Uh-huh.

Mind you, my hubby is no techie.

Which means once he purchases one, he will ask me to set it up. Then I would have to explain how the smartphone works.

He has no patience when it comes to social media, apps, BBM, music, videos and other special features.

Truth is, having a fast, sleek device like this makes me wonder if he will use it to its full potential.

I know, I will!

So far the reviews on the new devices have been positive.

And Blackberry 10 is available on February 5th.

Two days before my birthday!

Nice.

Now, wouldn't that be a wonderful gift?

Hint. Hint.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Style Over Comfort

It's hard to believe but there's a teenager in my home.

Almost.

In a few months, my oldest son will be thirteen years old!

A.R has come a long way - no longer the cute, little boy who gave me kisses every day.

Now he's close to my height, and his shoe size is bigger than mine.

And sadly, no more kisses.

There are many phone calls from friends, and leisure time spent on his iPod Touch and Facebook.

And when it comes to fashion, A.R knows what he likes.

Hoodies, cool t-shirts, his favorite baseball hat and messenger bag.

One day, I suggested he wear track pants to school.

He looked at me in disgust and uttered, "I don't wear them anymore. I like jeans."

Oh.

When did that happen? Where have I been?

At least, he doesn't have a girlfriend. Thank goodness!

Style over comfort.

I can live with that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Downton Abbey

What a holiday!

Two weeks of merry-making, indulging and celebrating.

Can you believe it's over?

The Christmas tree, lights and decorations are packed away.

And the kids have gone back to school.

Peace and quiet days are ahead.

Sort of.

The flu is back with a vengeance.

Uh-oh.

I think I'll stay at home, and not visit the big city.

Maybe watch the movie, "Les Miserables" again.

Perhaps, a boxed set of "Downton Abbey" Seasons One and Two is the best way to avoid sickness.

No?

Oh well, I've caught up.

And I'm ready for Season Three!